In this work, we investigate the temperature dependence of the upper critical field, dH c2/dT, in an increasingly disordered NdFeAsO0.7F0.3 (NdFeAs(O,F)) single crystal that has been progressively irradiated up to a 5.25 ×1016 cm- 2 total particle dose. For the H||ab-plane, dH c2/dT does not vary remarkably with irradiation, while for the H||c-axis it increases sharply after the first irradiation of 3.60 ×1015 cm-2 and then more gradually with further irradiation doses. Focusing on the H||c-axis, we develop a phenomenological analysis of the H c2 slope which allows us to inspect the crossover from the clean to the dirty regime. From the H c2 slope normalized to the critical temperature and to its clean limit value, we extract the ratio of the coherence length ξ BCS to the mean free path and we find that when T c is reduced by a factor of four from its pristine value, ξ BCS/ becomes as large as ∼7 and reaches values of ∼1.8 nm, indicating that NdFeAs(O,F) is well into the dirty regime. Our analysis of the H c2 slope also allows us to compare the pair-breaking effectiveness of scattering in different superconductors, showing similarity between unconventional NdFeAs(O,F) and moderate-T c phonon-mediated devices, such as MgB2 and A15 compounds, but much a stronger difference with YBa2Cu3O7-δ. This work thus shows that dH c2/dT is a reliable parameter, providing an alternative to residual resistivity, for investigating the pair-breaking mechanism induced by impurity scattering in superconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034007
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2018


  • clean and dirty limit
  • irradiation
  • pair-breaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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